September 1994 - Month of Our Lady of Sorrows. Orig.Ital.edit.: Eco di Medj., C.P.149, I-46100
Mantova, Italy. Yr9#6. All mail to: Echo of Medj., Casella Post. 27, I-31030 Bessica (TV), Italy
Our Lady’s message of 25 August 1994:
Dear children, I remain united in
prayer with you today in a special way,
to pray for the gift of the presence of my
beloved son in your country. Pray, my
children, for the health of my most beloved
son who suffers, but who is chosen by me
for these times. I pray and intercede
before my Son Jesus, so that the dream
had by your fathers may be realized.
Pray, my dear children, in a special
way, because Satan is strong and wishes
to destroy the hope in your hearts.
I bless you. Thank you for having
responded to my call.
Mary gives wings to Pope
for voyage of peace
Never before in a message has the Queen
of Peace so openly pronounced Her cause:
for the man who represents Christ on earth,
calling him "my beloved son, chosen by
me for these times." To the Pope’s totus
tuus by which he donates his life to Mary,
She seems to respond: "Here I am, tota tua
(I am all yours)!"
This is so because the Pope has accepted
Mary’s presence on the earth. Had it been
otherwise, Our Lady - who has the greatest
respect for man’s freedom - would not have
been so specific. Precisely because the Pope
fully understands and agrees with Mary’s
plans, he has become Her strongest ally and
right-hand man in the realization of them.
No doubt this message was of encourage-
ment to the Pope, and helped him decide for
the voyage to Sarajevo (his fear was not for
his own life, but for that of the others). He,
in fact, counts on Our Lady’s protection, and
She counts on us, which is why She calls
us to unceasing prayer for him.
Beyond all human calculations and with
the courage of the Good Shepherd, John
Paul is ready to risk his life for the sake of
others who suffer, who have been forsaken
by the world. With his bold gesture of love
he wishes to shake the world’s powerful who
have sat back and watched as if the tragedy
of former Yugoslavia was not their concern.
His gesture is also one of warning, to say
that if a remedy is not found, the violence
so brutally applicated as a solution in Bosnia
could become the accepted method of
resolving all hidden conflicts.
In August the Pope told the journalists:
"Sarajevo in 1914 and again in 1994. What
does this mean for Europe? Europe must
reflect on this. Why is the risk of war in
Europe beginning from the same point, and
what must be done to overcome this?"
He was asked: "What does this situation
say to you?" "Above all, it says that through
human weakness, sin and history’s mistakes,
God’s Providence is always present to guide
us." Thus, his decision challenges the human
voice that says "prudence," and calls on the
patient and tolerant love God has for men.
Mary repeats that She intercedes before
Jesus for the realization of "your fathers’
dreams," and we think of the Christianity
of Bosnia-Herzegovina which for so many
centuries was isolated and persecuted by
Islamism and has now been dispersed. We
think of the dream of the Croatians: for
a thousand years their country has remained
a Catholic "island" whilst under the dominion
of others and now, as a free nation, can
express her fidelity to the Pope. We think
of the lengthy martydom of Card. Stepinac
because of his fidelity to the Church of
Rome, and it wasn’t by chance that Card.
Kuharic joyfully exclaimed: "the fathers’
dream is being realized" (Avvenire 1.9.94).
Mary also speaks of the Pope’s
sufferance: moral sufferance of course, but
also physical following his recent operation.
Pray, dear children, for the health of my
beloved son who suffers.
Satan is strong. With all his astuteness
and the help of his accomplices he tries to
stop He who holds him in check and who
impedes him from destroying the hope in
the hearts of men. But you are from God
and you have in you one who is greater than
anyone in this world (1Jn4). With prayer
you can defeat him.
"Sarajevo as soon as possible"
The above article had been written after
the Pope had made the desicion to go to
Sarajevo and before his renouncement which
he made because the safety of the others
could not be guaranteed. The Pope, however,
told the people of Sarajevo: "I will come as
soon as possible. I will not leave you alone."
On the 8th September, during the Holy
Mass, he read the homily he had prepared
for the Mass in Sarajevo. With reference to
the Lord’s Prayer, he shouted: Thy will is
peace! (...) Peace is possible, for it is part
of God’s plan... but international rights must
be observed. There must be forgiveness.
Lead us not into the temptation of hate,
racism and nationalism. Do not use restrictive
measures which cause unhuman sufferance
for the poor. Lord, make our hearts of stone
break down and become hearts of flesh.
He concluded by greeting the pastors of
the Orthodox Church and the Serbs (who
were contrary to his visit).
The Pope's aim is to visit "their country"
- the expression used by Mary - meaning
Croatia: equally destroyed by warfare.
The Pope is not alone, for prayers, fasts
and other initiatives have blossomed within
the Church to support him in his intentions.
Communities and groups in Medj. alone
have been praying and fasting for weeks and
in Croatia the Rosary movement has invited
people to pray. In Zagreb a million rosary
beads have been made available for his visit.
Our Lady’s message of 25 July 1994:
Dear children, today I invite you to
decide to offer with patience a time for
prayer. My children, you cannot say you
are mine, that you have experienced
conversion through my messages, if you are
not ready to offer a time to God every day.
I am close by you and I bless you all. My
little children, do not forget this: if you do
not pray then you are not close to me and
you are not close to the Holy Spirit who
guides you on the way of holiness. Thank
you for having responded to my call.
Give a time to God
every day for prayer
For the umpteenth time, Our Lady is
calling us to decide for prayer. This, in fact,
is the essence of Her message and the key
that allows us to understand the rest. Her
words are clear: offer a time to God every
day for prayer. She has said the same thing
many times: From today, decide to consecrate
a time of your day to an encounter with God
in silence (25.7.89; cf. 2.10.86, 25.11.88).
Our Lady doesn’t mean our usual daily
encounters with God, such as morning and
evening prayers, or other devotional prayers
that we recite during the day. She means a
time to offer to the Lord, where we place
ourselves before Him to be entirely at his
disposal, where the Spirit will pray in us and
God will work in us.
So we must organize our day with this
in mind, to let God enter our lives. He wants
to take possession of us and lead us where
He knows. God wants a profound, personal
encounter with each of us, to reveal His heart
to us and listen to ours. He will correct our
ways, and through the work of His Spirit, who
guides us on the way of holiness, our ways
will be transformed, day after day, to become
similar to His.
We must learn to live His presence;
ego will be weakened and we will become
more attentive to the others’ needs. Doing »
limits on the intervention of States and of the
international community so that a couple is
not deprived of its primary and inalienable
responsibility. It is also unacceptable to
encourage the use of immoral means to
regulate birth, in particular abortion and
abortifacient drugs and agents.
This is one of the points of radical
difference between the Church and some
orientations now coming to the fore. Truly,
how can we not be disturbed by the fact that
vast sums of money are allocated for
distributing ethically impermissible contra-
ceptives, while development of the great
potential of 'natural family planning' has been
rejected? The latter, in addition to being less
costly, helps couples maintain their human
dignity while exercising responsible love...
More intense efforts are required to increase
natural and economic resources and fair
distribution... (Angelus, 24.7.94)
The State has the task of guaranteeing
respect for the life of each human being
in every possible way. Freedom of conscience
and choice cannot be invoked against this
duty, because the right to life of every human
individual is a constitutive element of a civil
society and its legislation. When the state
does not place its power at the service of the
rights of each and every citizen the very
foundations of a State based on law are
undermined. (7 August)
Authentic emancipation of women -
There are those who reproach the Church
for insisting too much on woman’s mission
in the family and for overlooking the question
of her active presence in social life. This is
not the case, for the Church is well aware
of how much society needs the feminine
genius in all aspects of civil society and
insists that every form of discrimination of
women be eliminated... Against the oppressive
culture which makes the woman’s task as
mother more burdensome and where man is
inclined to look upon her as an object of
pleasure or a mere reproductive device, every
legitimate effort must be made to promote the
authentic emancipation of women. (14 Aug.)
Family comes before State. Promote a
culture of responsible procreation - 'Man,'
Aristotle stated, 'is by his nature more
inclined to live as a couple than to associate
politically, since the family is something that
precedes and is more necessary that the
State.' It would be serious if at the Cairo
Conference, through concern to face the
problem posed by rapid demographic growth,
instead of striving to promote a culture of
responsible procreation, one were to be
content with accepting or even fostering a
sexuality detached from ethical references.
The psycho-biological structure of human
sexuality is an objective factor which,
notwithstanding weakness in behaviour and
the variety of opinions, does not cease to
orientate towards the deep and stable
relationship between the man and the woman
in marriage, making them responsible for the
life that springs from this relationship... In
fact, what is at stake is the future of the family
and of society itself."
This can be noticed in the more developed
nations where the birth rate is very low, but
where one notices "many alarming signs of
a morality of life - for example: drugs,
violence, the lack of ideals and values, of
meaning and respect for life, indifference to
the elderly and the insecurity of youth.
Does not the need to call for the
indispensable restoration of the role and
responsibility of the family spontaneously
Church heads world
movement in defence of life
Harsh reactions come from anti-Catholic
circles to the Pope’s firm position regarding
the family and responsible procreation. Many
Third World countries, the Jews and the
Islamic countries support the Pope’s view,
though, with their stance against the West:
"advocate of licentiousness."
The Holy See practically heads this world
formation in defence of life, since it has the
power to influence a modification in the UN
documents. The Pope’s requests, made through
a delegation from the Vatican, is summarized
1. Above all, society must shift attention
from family planning to launching economic
and social development of the less pros-
perous peoples (only 7 pages out of 113 in
the UN document are dedicated to develop-
ment, the rest to family planning).
2. Resist the dangerous short cut of
relying only on birth rate reductions in the
poor countries through family planning with
use of contraceptives, sterilization and abortion
which is a way of enslaving and exploiting
the underdeveloped countries, of being rid of
the nagging disturbance created by the presence
of the poor, of humiliating their families and
their women to condemn them to chronic
underdevelopment and ethnic "thinning-out."
3. The Holy See is not opposed to
reasonable demographic regulation that
respects those fundamental values and rights
that cannot be overthrown by politics: - the
right to be born for every human being from
its moment of conception; - the rights of a
family, a family being a stable union between
a man and a woman for reciprocal commitment
and responsible procreation.
The Pope’s words did not go unheard, for
the US delegation did propose removing the
accent on abortion as a birth control method
from the UN document. The battle, however,
is not won and the Vatican will not accept
compromise as a solution. **
Mother Teresa: "The world that
God gave us is sufficient for all."
With the Cairo Conference in mind,
Mother Teresa made an impassioned appeal
against abortion: "If there are unwanted
children, children that cannot be nourished,
then give them to me. No one has the right
to kill a human life. Abortion is not admissible,
not even when a woman has been raped."
Mother Teresa’s maxim has always been just
this: "Combat abortion with adoption."
"God created the world big enough for
everyone that He wills be born," she added.
Pope defends life
The Cairo Conference (4-11 Sept.) on
Population and Development has been the
subject of the Holy Father’s meditations
during recent Angelus messages in a will to
enlighten consciences: "it is never legitimate
to intervene with authoritarian, coercive
measures aimed at usurping the couple’s
primary and inalienable responsibility" in
planning their own family.
What the international community can
and cannot do for birth control - "The
complex phenomenon known as 'demographic
explosion' is the subject of assessments that
do not always converge. According to some,
humanity as a whole is growing at a rate that
in the future could create difficulties for
human coexistence itself. In many nations,
however, a worrisome crisis in the birth rate
has been observed.
The Church is familiar with the problem...
The Catechism explicitly states that public
authorities can 'intervene to orient the
demography of the population.' It must be
husband and wife, though, who make their
own decision to procreate according to a
reasonable plan based on a generous and
realistic assessment of the welfare of the child
and of society itself...
The ethical dimension also puts precise
» God’s will becomes joy, for we are certain
of His powerful presence in us. The way of
the disciple, then, becomes totally different
to that of the others because it is He who
leads us. Everything that we do in Him takes
on a different value and always works out
well (Ps 1) because both men and things are
in His hands. We are made new and people
begin to see the serene and loving face of
Jesus in His disciples. People aren't interested
in the other things. What they need are hearts
that overflow with peace, love and joy: this
is what convinced the pagans in the times
of the first Christians.
This time for prayer must be daily: give
us this day our daily bread, for together with
life, God wants to instil in us also His divine
being. It is so easy for the worldly spirit to
take hold of us without His daily bread.
There is a new element in this message.
We must offer this time with patience, not
only because we are assailed by so many
things, seemingly more important than prayer,
but because it is our human nature to be
reluctant to place ourselves before the
Invisible. That’s without counting the many
distractions that at times can really discourage
us. Jesus said: pray without tiring (Lk 18:1),
for it is easy to become tired of praying; thus
the need to insist with patience.
Mary discourse is maternal, but serious.
She reminds us that She is close to us and
She blesses us, and since we are "Hers," She
adds: you cannot say you are mine if you
are not ready to do as I say. We consider
ourselves as chosen, as belonging to Mary,
but unless we are perseverant, unless, by the
grace of the Holy Spirit, we encounter God,
we cannot say we are Hers, nor that we have
found conversion through Her messages.
Our Lady wants it to be clear, and repeats:
Children, do not forget, if you do not pray
you are not close to me nor to the Holy
Spirit. Mary would like to see the effects of
Her teaching; that is, that they become salt
of the earth, light for the dark world, owners
of the joy and peace of Jesus, f ounts of live
water for this thirsting world. Fr. Angelo
News from the blessed land
(taken from Sr. Emmanuel’s diary)
* Youth Festival theme was family. The
Youth Festival was celebrated also this year
from 31 July to 6 August with at least 2,000
participants. It was a week of intense joy and
faith discovery. The Mother Church mani-
fested her live and joyful reality to the young
people who learnt the real, Christian, meaning
of family - family the way Our Lady invites
us to be, in all its beauty and magnificence,
not the way the world imposes on us with
its anti-Christian ways that go against life.
Neither was it the way the UNO would like
the family to be which, with all its projects,
risks destroying the family unit.
During the Festival, beneath the huge tent,
the visionaries came to testify their faith to
the youth. Mirjana, who had recently seen
Our Lady in an apparition (2 August) was
still radiant with joy. Mirjana, married with
two children, said how every family first
needs to take as a father our Father in Heaven
and as a mother our Mother in Heaven, and
that the children must be taught this.
Mirjana told of one of Our Lady's messages
for parents: That they never ask for anything
they do not first set an example for. (The
importance of putting God first before anything
else.) The children must know that Holy Mass
is an integral part of life and that they are
welcome. Mirjana spoke of the importance
of praying first for non-believers, for when
you pray for them you are working for the
future and safety of your own children.
Ivan spoke of the family and its importance
for young children. Talking of family, Our
Lady has said: "Parents must give as much
time as possible to their children, to listen
to them and talk to them in confidence. Prayer
in the family is medicine for young people
and for the world. Your first prayer group
is your family. Start with loving those in your
Ivan also spoke of prayer groups and what
Our Lady desires for them - such as do not
go to the group just to say the Rosary and
then leave straight away. She said we should
find time to know one another so that real
love has a chance to develop within the group.
It is a good thing, for example, for members
to find the time to do other activities together,
like paying visits or going on excursions.
Vicka stressed: The Virgin insists that we
pray for the Pope, the Bishops, the priests
and the whole Church.
* Vicka and the future of the youth -
To a question regarding the future of the
youth, Vicka replied with Our Lady’s
teachings: It is through daily prayer that you
begin to listen, little after little, to God’s voice
in your hearts. You have to learn how to hear
His voice through which He desires to make
you understand what He wants from you and
make known His will for you. For this, you
mus pray every day with your heart. If you
do not pray, you will not be able to understand
what your vocation is.
* On the 5th August it was the 2010th
anniversary of Our Lady’s birth. It was a
Friday, the stars were out and with all our
heart we sang to Her: Happy birthday to you.
* An atheist girl saw Our Lady - It was
11th July, Our Lady appeared on the hill and
prayed for the conversion of sinners.
A 14 year old girl, a non-believer, was
in Medjugorje to accompany her invalid
grandmother. At 10 pm, during Our Lady’s
apparition to Ivan, she saw a beautiful woman
standing near the blue cross. She was smiling
at the pilgrims. The young girl wondered if
it was the Virgin, and then exclaimed: "I can
I spoke to her afterwards and realized that
she is a typical child of our society who
knows neither God, prayer or life's meaning.
Her heart has now taken a complete turn.
She asked herself why this happened to her
and not someone who had come to pray.
To her we say: it was precisely because
you didn’t know Her. Our Lady had been
waiting for you for a long time. She loves
you infinitely and wanted you to understand
that you are important to Her, that you are
no longer alone. She will always be with you.
This grace is a sign for us for the forth-
coming Youth Festival. Our Lady, who cried
for the situation of the youth, is ready to
reveal to them Jesus’ love and Her own love
and heal them of the void that is in them.
* Protect Medjugorje from strange
messages. Though she was soon due to give
birth, Marija Pavlovic was in Medj. for the
anniversary. She said how she was worried
for the prayer groups. "We (the visionaries)
have spoken at length with Fr. Jozo about the
graces, battles and the sufferance of these past
13 years. We all agree: it is urgent to protect
the Medj. presence in the world, its message
must not be mixed with other revelations.
Unfortunately, many prayer groups are
divided and have even broken up because of
this, and the real Medj. message has been lost.
Many false prophets are circulating, taking
the people away from its basic message. As
butterflies pass from one flower to the next,
many go from one event to the next in search
of the extraordinary, and their conversion is
blocked." Marija said how she noticed this
a lot in Italy and America.
"Protect Medjugorje!", the Pope told Fr.
Jozo, and Our Lady often says: "Live the
messages I give you here."
* Meeting for Medj. groups. The
Franciscan fathers held a meeting for
organizers of Medjugorje groups prior to the
anniversary celebrations to discuss various
points regarding the Marian shrine. Fr. Pervan
stressed the importance of there being an
evangelical foundation to all that happens in
Medj. Fr. Jozo reminded the assembly of
how the Blessed Virgin calls us to holiness,
as in Vatican II, and of the utmost importance
of the Eucharist. Fr. Slavko insisted on the
important role of the lay people in Medj.,
saying how the Medj. movement began from
them. The parish priest, Fr. Landeka, asked
all those who speak in the name of Our Lady
to do so in submission to the parish.
* On 14 July, in Monza, Marija Pavlovic
gave birth to her first child and son, Michele
(Michael). Babe and mother are both well.
* Annalisa and Jakov’s first child is due
in January 1985.
* Vicka’s sister Ana, a member of the
first prayer group since 1982, married a
fellow member, Marinko Zovko on 21 August.
They will live in Miletina, which will permit
them to continue participating in the long
nights of prayer on the hill. It is interesting
to note that these young people, who grew
up in Our Lady’s school, have received
various signs. Their spiritual knowledge is
amazing - not obtained from reading books,
but from their fidelity to prayer. Their
humbleness is indeed fertile.
Milka, Marija’s sister, has also married.
You may recall that she saw Our Lady on
the very first day of the apparitions.
* A French pilgrim healed. Suffering
from glaucoma, he was left blind after an
operation. He was given a picture of Our Lady
of Medj. The words: If you knew how much
I love you, you would cry for joy, were written
on it. It made him angry; the message seemed
out of place and timed badly. Within the next
hour, though, his vision became normal and
the glaucoma had gone. He came to Medj.
to give thanks, and bit by bit his healing has
led to the conversion of his entire family. All
this from a simple message!
liberated her, enabling her to pronounce the
Hail Mary. God cares for His little ones,
unlike the world which doesn’t even want
"imperfect" beings to be born.
- Ivan was in Belgium in August. Large
crowds turned up in Beauraing and the
Abbey of Mt César. Ivan then met with the
bishop of Namur, Mons. Leonard, who
asked to be present for the apparition. He
said: "I went to Medj. in 1984 and I came
back convinced." Ivan and Fr. Slavko then
participated in various meetings in Britain.
- Vicka was in Ireland in July.
- Towards the end of July, Mons.
Chabert, Archbishop of Perpignan, was
welcomed in Medj. He concelebrated on 25
July, the feast of St James.
- The 15th August was a day of great
graces for the many pilgrims. Fiorenza who
is 16 and suffers from Downs Syndrome
was on Mt. Podbrdo in front of the blue
cross and saw Our Lady. The encounter
13th Anniversary on Podbrdo
Searching one’s conscience
1. This place was donated by God, it was
not requested by men. What does your
presence on Podbrdo mean, while, after 13
years, Our Lady is still appearing? What does
Our Lady want from you now? We are here
to reply to the Lord who has a plan and a
will for each of us.
We are here after 13 years of insufficient
response; insufficient because the war is still
raging. We are all responsible and all of us
must mend our ways. God wants us to be
more involved with His Mother. It seems the
response is very limited... so it is a great
mystery. Our Lady holds all this up, She
attracts people and opens hearts. Is there any
other place at war with so many people?
There are two wrong ways of being here.
One is judging the others or the negative or
limited situation of Medj. This isn’t being
involved in what Our Lady wants, and you
blame the others for the change in you. The
other way is being here to present your desires
(they can be good) to God so He will respond.
The level of your desires is not that of Our
Lady. Our Lady goes far beyond your desires.
The level of the Mystery is that you
embrace Her Son, that you become one with
Jesus’ Heart and His will. We are but a small
piece in the great mosaic of His plan.
Everything is possible for God, even miracles.
The problem is us, for we were called to
embrace His plan. Our Lady said: I will leave
a sign here for all, but you must convert
before. A consolation for those who have
responded, a sufferance for those who have
not. Podbrdo is the Calvary of our times,
where God is present with His Mercy. You,
in your spiritual life, were born here according
to God’s plan; He did not ask your permission.
2. There are two great impediments to
spiritual growth, and because of our freedom,
they stop Our Lady from making us more
familiar with the Mystery. The greatest
obstacle is our attachment to ourselves. God
occupies second place, not first, despite our
words. That is, we place ourselves before God
with our reasoning, habits, thoughts and
capacities. This is a congenital condition, in
us from the start, caused by the original sin.
It is not an intentional dependency, but
a reality which can turn our life about in no
time. Like Mary at the Annunciation, we must
be ready at all times to allow ourselves to
be absorbed by the Mystery. Attachment to
self indicates pride, being too impatient to get
to the bottom of what is wrong in you. We
must create silence within ourselves and
Each of us needs to make space for the
Lord, for what comes from God, and accept
it as being in His wisdom. A person who is
consecrated to God does not search for one’s
own reasons, but always for the will of God.
A person attached to him/herself will never
be an instrument of communion and grace.
So think about how you are with the others.
You are not ready to deny yourself. You form
relationships that give you pleasure and
reward. If your heart, though, is truly attached
to God, those close to you, and others, will
notice. You will be like an open gate. First,
you need to accept being placed last, and
sweep clean your soul.
The other impediment is fear. "Man of
little faith," Jesus told Peter. Out of fear you
do not let yourself become entirely involved.
We hide our consecration because others
think differently about Medj. Fear stems from
the "animal" in man, not from his spirit and
indicates little faith. Fear is always a sign of
Satan’s presence and it is a terrible weapon
in his hands, with which he claims straight
off 80%. If an event or situation puts more
fear in your heart than peace, it is a sign that
you are not attached to God. Being afraid
enslaves you to Satan. He is then happy.
Your lack of response to Our Lady indicates
that the world is enslaved to sin and fear. The
sign of the times is this cold indifference,
which makes people afraid to donate them-
selves, it is why they are afraid of sacrifice.
People are attached to themselves because,
after all, there is no prayer. People aren’t
open and attentive to the Spirit.
You are not open to the Spirit so you don’t
respond to all that the Spirit does. You refuse
Mary, you avoid Her, you don’t let Her tell
you what’s wrong with you, you avoid
purification. In fact, Our Lady complains: You
cannot say you are mine! We are too attached
to our own egos. "There is no worse enemy
than yourself." (St John of the Cross) Our
Lady’s complaint should disturb us. We do
not appreciate God's gifts. God educates us
through a surprising gift (Medj.) that our
minds cannot grasp.
So the best way to grow spiritually, to
mature, to come out of one’s self, is to look
at the gifts. When God donates, when He
sends His Mother, all we have to do is follow
Her, nothing else - without calculating what
God may ask of us, thereby putting limits on
them. If the gift is great it will require a great
response. Fear of the gift is fear of having
to give all and this makes love dry up, it
paralyzes it. Coldness in love is fear of God,
it is a sign of having shunned God’s gift.
The real problem is getting involved with
God to the point desired by Him, as far as
total donation of self. When you do not make
this donation every day, it means you are
cold. When you give all, you become free
in the power of the Spirit, and this is the real
victory of your temptations. It makes your
relationship with others different. Often,
though, we don’t hand over our freedom to
the point of total donation, so what we need
to do is make our hope and future coincide
with Mary’s programmes. Mary wants
community, She wants us to manifest our
Fr. James and Niki from the All Yours group.
like seeing only the negative sides of people.
For the presence of a small spot we see all
black. Our hearts are closed, and to think that
God lives in him and every person. A person
tries his best, and like us all he has a negative
side, and we are unable to see God because
our eyes are set on something else.
Jesus wants to lead us to communion with
the Father and among us. By offering our life
to God for each other we become Living
Eucharists. For communion to exist among
us we need to die to ourselves continually.
Our incertainties and our mistrust must die
so that we can become free in God and among
us. The journey to God creates freedom
among people, and unites them in communion,
and Christian life becomes a wealth. In this
sense, God’s Kingdom is already amid us, in
the Sacraments and in the Church that contains
all the mysteries of salvation.
The danger is in stopping before the signs
(like running after the visionaries), in putting
the journey off and not living in full the
present. With a simple journey we can live
God’s Kingdom now, every day, and allow
this Kingdom to grow.
(Fr. Tomislav - 5-8 May '94, Montesilvano)
* Pilgrims of solidarity continue thanks
to generous and untiring souls. Aid deliverers
have notified that fewer donations are being
received, perhaps because the plight of the
displaced persons in Bosnia and Croatia is no
longer reported by the media. With a decline
in hostilities, though, many roads are now
open, making it possible to deliver aid to areas
that had been cut off for up to one year.
So let’s give them our support. Contact
your nearest Medj. centre for information on
how to help. In Britain, the Medjugorje Appeal
organizes aid delivery in collaboration with
an American team. They also organize »
I decided to do Echo 114 with only 4
pages so as not to delay this instrument of
Mary too much, considering the great demand
for it from all over the world. Thank you,
dear readers, for your letters of encouragement
and concern for my health. On the 5th August
(Our Lady’s birthday!) I underwent heart
surgery. Our Lady guided everything
wonderfully and I was dismissed from hospital
in good condition. I then spent a month in
the Rehabilitation Centre (Cardiological) in
The problems we spoke about in Echo 113
were not financial, however, we do thank
those readers who rushed to send in donations.
The problems were concerned with my health
and personal commitments which still remain.
With the help of God, the next issue will
be published after the October message.
May the grace that comes from Jesus’
Cross, from Mary’s Sorrows and Her Rosary
accompany you always, and I bless you all.
Villanova, 8 Sept. 1994
Sped.Abb.Post.3/70, Aut.Trib.Mant.#13-8.11.86; Legal Dir: A.Lanzani; Printed by DIPRO, Italy, Fax: 0422-840804
God’s Kingdom is already
1. God’s love works far and beyond
human borders, which is why we are invited
to open our hearts and to continually take part
in this love which we find in the Eucharist.
The Eucharist is God’s love that descends
into the depth of our beings and heals us.
The important thing is to remain open to this
love which nourishes us. There is a theoretical
atheism that denies God, and a practical one
which is present in each of us. We know God,
but we refuse Him because He is inconvenient,
because our selves and He do not agree. We
are called to remain in a state of waiting and
of responsibility towards God. The danger is
that we look for God in places where He isn’t
present, like the future, the clouds and our
fantasies, and we are unable to recognize Him
as being present within us, in our daily lives.
Concerning the wait for Jesus, there is
only one correct way to behave: keep watch!
Jesus said that not even He knew which day
He would return. Jesus, though, will arrive
in the same way as Spring: from within. In
fact, right now we participate in eternity, in
the Banquet of the Lamb. Our life is a
pilgrimage of faith that leads us to living
always in God’s presence, to having a live
relationship with God, as Mary did. Nothing
is impossible for God. He reaches into our
sealed tombs to lead us into resurrection. We
must keep watch. If we do not discover God’s
presence in us we are left with a void, a space
which will be occupied by false gods. A
person who is filled with the true God does
not look for false gods.
2. Open to God’s presence. Israel, many
people of Jesus’ time, and pilgrims to Medj.
and other shrines, including Padre Pio’s tomb,
have seen signs that talk of God’s presence,
but their hearts have remained closed. It is
the mystery of a closed heart that concerns,
in a certain sense, us all. The root of all sin
is non-communion with God. All the sin
within us that we do not wish to present to
God forms like layers that enclose our heart
and this forms a deviating energy that destroys
us and others. God, before a closed heart,
can do nothing, for He respects our freedom.
Jesus is the Lord who heals not only our
paralyses, but also the roots of our paralyses.
So let us throw away our sins, our past and
our worries that only create in us a kindom
of bitterness, and decide for the Kingdom of
God. That way we will defeat all our crosses,
there will be no more gossip and tension and
in their place there will be unity. There will
be unity of the Church and of Christians,
because all it needs is unity with God. In the
Eucharist, God donates all, and prayer opens
the way to union with God, to the new life.
3. Communion: with God, ourselves,
the others and the universe. Knowing God
does not depend on reason, but on the heart
and will. It is love, not one’s head that brings
knowledge of the mysteries. One’s head starts
functioning when the heart functions and
loves. Jesus was never shocked by a sinner,
because He loved. Yes, He loved, and this
is the only important knowledge; it is the
fundamental aperture for knowing God. It
is fundamental for knowing us and others.
The things that happen among Christians
and prayer groups at times is really terrible,
ECHO IS FREE - It lives on your donations.
Personal cheques accepted. Mail to: Eco di Medj.,
Cas. Post. 149, I-46100 Mantova, Italy.
»pilgrimages to Medj. by coach. Contact them
at: Unit J, Lambs Bus. Park, Tilburstow Hill
Rd., South Godstone, Surrey RH9 8JZ, UK.
Three day Marian Conference: Waikiki
Shell, Honolulu, Hawaii: 28 - 30 Oct. 1994,
featuring separate programme for youth. For
info contact: Hawaii Marian Conference, c/o
St Michael Center, 2639 S. King St., Ste 200,
Honolulu, HI 96826-3269, USA.
Off the bookshelf: An Hour with Jesus.
109 pages of meditations and prayers for
Adoration. Published by The Riehle
Foundation, P.O. Box 7, Milford, OH 45150,
USA. Requested donation $2.
The Spirituality of Fatima and Medj. by
Rev. Edward Carter, S.J. Faith Publishing Co.,
P.O. Box 237, Milford OH 45150, USA.
Identification with the Sacred Host. "It is
not a question of devoting oneself deliberately
to suffering... One must sanctify the difficulties
of everyday life... as if coming from the hand
of Divine Providence." English Distributor:
Wing Cmdr John F.M. Harrow, St Annes, 2
Ashley Rd., Marnhull, Sturminster Newton,
Dorset DT10 1LQ, England. **